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Mental Health Awareness Week: The relationship between ethnicity and mental health

Lifestyle

Mental Health Awareness Week: The relationship between ethnicity and mental health

A landmark new study from StoryTerrace has discovered that 1-in-3 people from ethnic minority backgrounds say they have little to no understanding of their heritage, with the majority of these respondents (25%) also stating this negatively affects their mental health. 
It is widely recognised that people from ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by mental health issues, with data from the UK government stating that black people in Britain are more likely to experience a complex mental health disorder than any other group.

Rutger Bruining, CEO and Founder of StoryTerrace:

“While awareness weeks are a great way of starting the conversation, it is important that awareness around mental health is maintained beyond this; one study shows that 1-in-4 people will have trouble with their mental health every year. One of the key benefits of writing a biography is how it brings people closer to their family, their history and a better understanding of who they really are.”

StoryTerrace’s enlightening findings highlight the intricate link between knowledge of one’s cultural roots and how this affects one’s mental wellbeing, particularly being true to people of mixed-race heritage. Further illustrating this, a report from the UK National Commission for UNESCO found that knowledge of one’s cultural history and ethnic background promotes a positive sense of self, social support, solidarity and resilience.

Reconnecting with our roots and understanding where we come from is known to boost one’s overall sense of self and reaffirm our place in the world. In line with this year’s MHA theme of ‘loneliness’, StoryTerrace implores the nation to take time to research into their background to gain a deeper awareness of who you really are and all the components that make you unique.

Based on the finding that over half of the population (56%) feel that knowledge of their cultural heritage has been lost due to certain family members no longer being around – it seems there is no better time to start digging deeper than the present.

Rutger Bruining, CEO and Founder of StoryTerrace:

“Half of the memoirs we see here at StoryTerrace are heritage stories. This means an individual comes to document and preserve their cultural history so that future generations are able to read and learn about where they came from, and their relatives’ enriching lives.

“This means digging up old memories, reaching out to relatives from your past and filling in the gaps that are perhaps blurrier in the present. In doing so, the client comes to learn a wealth of information about their origins, and it is a beautiful process. Based on what we know from our research, writing your life story has advantages not only to the storyteller but to the person reading the book.”

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